Do you bring your faithful worship before God to praise him for all that he does for you? All worship is not created equal. It is not about what we do; it is about how our heart is towards what we are doing. Going through the motion of prayer or singing hymnals in Church does nothing to improve our spiritual life. When we are focused on what others want to see from us, we turn faithful worship into a fraud.
I know that it sounds harsh to call some worship and prayer a fraud. Only God knows someone's heart, and he is the ultimate judge of their actions. One point of the message today at Church was to guard ourselves against fake worship. The sermon used the example of fasting to show how some people try to draw attention to themselves by what they do. Drawing attention does not honor God, but it glorifies one's self.
Matthew 6:16-18 NASB Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Do we practice faithful worship or deceive ourselves and others?
One of the biggest things that I notice that follows along the lines of Matthew 6:16-18 is prayer. I have had the experience of being in Churches where prayer was used to promote self-gratification. The length of the prayer, the repetitiveness of the prayer and the overall message of the prayer pointed back to the individual instead of God. From experience, the best way for me to pray is quietly one on one with God. I understand the need for prayer in groups, but it must be done effectively and honoring to God.
I have also seen people on fire for themselves instead of the Lord. Chants and flailing of the body draw attention to themselves and their “style of worship.” If you are on fire for the Lord, then great. But if you are the type of person who likes the attention, then what you are doing is not pleasing to God.
Faithful worship pleases God. Fake worship pleases one's self. God loves to hear our praises. We get more out of our praises then we do out of our self-gloating.